Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rant #64: Kids Growing Up Too Fast On TV

Why is it that being on a television show puts you on the fast track for looking 50 when you aren't even 20 yet?

I don't know what is with this current crop of kid TV stars, but they kind of push the envelope a bit, doing things that even an avowed 50 year old like me would never do, and they look it too.

It is one thing to be 50 and look 50, but it is another thing to be a teenager or in your early 20s and look like you have been around since 1957.

The Olsen twins are a perfect example of this phenomena. I know they are in their early 20s, but do they look like they are oldsters or what? I guess that bathing in your own money ages you a bit.

Miley Cyrus is another teen who is getting to look a lot older than she really is. Her recent "pole vault" aside, is this kid really 16 or 17, or is this is what we are being led to believe?

I guess it is the price of stardom at such an early age. These kids give up their childhood to please others. They aren't grounded at all, and they get into things that really aren't age appropriate.

I think it is also the times. With the Internet continuing to explode, no one's life is private anymore, particularly for kids like this. So everything gets revealed, literally for some young actors, and it ages them not gracefully, but forcefully.

Could you imagine a Ron Howard or an Annette Funicello growing up today? Heck, not only would we know that Annette was blooming before our eyes, but we would know her bra size too.

A number of years ago, my then wife and I were told that our daughter might make a good kid model, so we took her to a couple of agencies, to no avail. It was a cattle call, and my daughter is better than that.

The last straw came when we had a modeling agency representative come to the house to see my daughter. She took one look at her and said, "Her left eye is bigger than her right eye," and I promptly kicked her out of the house. That was it.

I can't imagine parents pushing kids into show business, but for a select few like the people I mentioned earlier, it can be lucrative.

But you lose your childhood. You can never, ever get it back, and it is priceless.

My question is--is all the fame, admiration, and for that matter, aging before your time, worth it?

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